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Volunteer Report

By Taylor Wall

A few months ago, I wrote about the benefits of taking a step back from dancing to remember why you love it so much. For my partner and I, who always take a month-long break after USADance National Championships in March, June marked our first competition of the new season: New Jersey Summer Sizzler.

Competitions always come with a host of complications for any competitor. This one was especially difficult for my partner and I as we recently got new Standard choreography (which I hadn't learned yet...oops) and our coach wanted us focusing on our own dancing... a.k.a. we hadn't been allowed to dance together for the three weeks preceding the competition. This made me more stressed and nervous than usual, but offered us the opportunity to learn a lot.

The work we've been doing on our own really shone in our Smooth and Rhythm dancing, and we were very happy with our placements. Even though our Standard dancing had some expected troubles, we practiced new ways of overcoming those troubles as a team. My partner really supported me when I got stressed before we got on the floor, and we recovered well. What's more, our individual work allowed us to see more in our videos to diagnose what we need to work on next and how we can compete even better at the next competition.

In this issue of Sheer Dance, you'll read about a number of other amateur competitors at New Jersey Summer Sizzler, including some who, like me, had taken a bit of a break from dancing. Many of our writers attended New Jersey Summer Sizzler for the first time this year.

What do you love about competing? Or, if competing isn't your thing, why did you choose not to compete? Will you be competing at Twin Cities Open this month, maybe for the first time? We would love to hear your story! Send us yours at submissions@sheerdance.com!